Show cigarettes the red card this No Smoking Day

People who smoke in Oxfordshire are being encouraged to reflect on the impact that their habit has on those around them as Oxfordshire County Council marks national No Smoking Day (9 March).

 Just over one in ten people in Oxfordshire light up regularly. On top of this, the latest figures also show that over 28,000 children live in households with adults who smoke.

 Smoking in the home not only damages the health of children  but it can also increase their chance of becoming smokers four-fold. An estimated 885 children aged 11 to 15 years old take up the habit in Oxfordshire every year.

 Councillor Mark Lygo, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “No Smoking Day is a chance for people to reflect on how they can make a positive change to their health, and the health of those around them.

 "Around two thirds of smokers started as children, and young people are four times more likely to light up if they live with a smoker – children copy what they see. That is why, as a council, we are supporting initiatives such Smokefree Sidelines and providing free support to people who may be thinking about giving up."

 Oxfordshire Smokefree Sidelines is a partnership between the Oxfordshire Football Association, Oxfordshire County Council and county's four local youth football leagues.

 The collaboration aims to help to create healthy, safe places that provide everyone with the opportunity to enjoy their chosen sport or activity in a smoke free environment.

 Clubs involved in the project are supported to help adults be role models for children and young people by not smoking while watching training or matches.

 Michael Thurlow, Football Development Manager at Oxfordshire Football Association, said: “We are proud to have teamed up with Oxfordshire County Council and youth leagues in the county over the past 18 months to roll-out the Smokefree Sidelines initiative across Oxfordshire.

 “We are delighted to have 52 youth clubs pledging their support to improving the playing environment for over 5,000 young players in the county. We want to encourage all grassroots youth clubs across Oxfordshire to sign up and pledge to become smoke free.”

 Derys Pragnell, Consultant Public Health at  Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable illness and avoidable death. We know it can be really difficult to stop smoking and want to protect children from harm by helping prevent them from starting to smoke.  We also want to help people who are smoking to quit. Evidence suggests that people who access stop smoking support are three times more likely to quit than those that go it alone."

Residents can find out more about the free and effective support available to help them quit smoking on Oxfordshire County Council’s website.

 Click Sign up to hear from us and receive the latest news and updates thanks to our fortnightly newsletter, Your Oxfordshire.